Virginia Lacrosse head coach Lars Tiffany pulled in his first big recruit on Wednesday when the No. 1 player in the class of 2019, Connor Shellenberger, verbally committed to the Hoos.
No. 1 soph Connor Shellenberger, an attackman for St. Anne's Belfield (Va.) and @MADLAX1, has committed to UVA. Big victory for Lars' staff.— Ty Xanders (@tyxanders) October 19, 2016
Excited to announce I have verbally committed to play lacrosse at the University of Virginia. pic.twitter.com/4ZXHxXOus5— Connor Shellenberger (@cshellenberger1) October 19, 2016
Shellenberger, currently a sophomore at St. Anne’s Belfield (STAB) in Charlottesville, de-committed from Johns Hopkins University on 5 October. As a freshman at STAB, Shellenberger scored 21 goals, dished out 18 assists, and picked up 32 ground balls.
Recruiting Rundown’s Ty Xanders, who first broke the news, compares Shellenberger to a notable UVA lax alumni:
“Though they play different styles, Shellenberger’s playmaking ability and deceptive athleticism is reminiscent of what Steele Stanwick provided as a young standout in the Baltimore area. The Madlax product dodges with poise from just about anywhere - he can line up on the wings, thrive from X or comfortably make things happen from up top. He’s a constant force and offensive leader who is seldom limited, often putting up multi-goal performances with flair.”
While it could have taken at least one season in Virginia with Tiffany at the helm for recruits to be drawn to his fast paced style, Shellenberger decided that now was the right time to commit.
"Last year their top three scorers (at Brown) were attackmen, so being an attackman fits right into what I want to do, I want to go to UVa, I want to score goals, I want to win national championships.” Shellenberger told NBC29. “My parents, my family are real excited to see me come home but really it was just the style of play of the coaches, right when I stepped on campus I felt an instant bond."
On top of the bond he felt with Tiffany, the hometown feel of Virginia was a big seller.
"I really started to notice recently how awesome it is, after going to the different schools and going through the process a second time," he said in an interview with CBS19. "I really started to get the hometown feel, and I really started to realize how awesome it is to be able to basically look across the street from my school every day and see UVA, and to be able to one day play in that stadium."
Shellenberger, who was also considering Duke, got the celebrity treatment.
On his recent visits, Shellenberger was so much of a priority that Duke brought out Coach K. For the Hoos, Tony Bennett & Bronco Mendenhall.— Ty Xanders (@tyxanders) October 19, 2016
While both Shellenberger and the Virginia fans will have a few years to wait until he’s in a Cavalier uniform, his impact may be felt immediately.
“Looking forward,” Xanders said, “...there’s no doubt that Shellenberger’s commitment could act as a domino effect, as he’s the type of talent that other young players will want to play alongside in Charlottesville.”
Check out these summer highlights of Shellenberger: